Coal policy and transportation policy are closely interdependent. Transportation costs typically account for 40 to 50 percent of the price of coal, while coal provides the transportation sector with an important share of traffic and revenue. The prominence of coal shipments with transportation modes strongly suggests that policies which bear on coal uses, such as air quality standards or the mandated use of coal as a boiler fuel, will have significant impacts on the transportation sector as a whole. Similarly, transportation policy will be an important determinant of the price and distribution of coal. Coal does not present a unique case calling for special treatment, so coal transportation recommendations should be formulated within the broader context of a general transportation policy. The national transportation system currently suffers significant inefficiences, in large part because of inappropriate and often conflicting policies. Prices for transportation services do not necessarily reflect the full environmental and economic costs of providing those services. The result is waste of financial and physical resources. The growing reliance on coal energy presents the transportation system with the challenge of moving substantially increased amounts of coal. Some physical bottlenecks in the system's capacity are already evident. Correct policies should guide the choice of additional investments to wherever market demand warrants the expansion of capacity. The task force concluded that the primary goal of transportation policy should be to promote economic efficiency, with particular attention to internalizing environmental costs to ensure that they are properly weighed in transportation decisions.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • From Where We Agree: Report of the National Coal Policy Project, Volume 1.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Westview Press

    5500 Central Avenue
    Boulder, CO  United States  80301-2877
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 5-99

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00196116
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Energy Research Abstracts
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1979 12:00AM